The Times of Malta recently reported that Labour’s popularity has dropped to its lowest in years, according to a recent poll. However, while many non-voters and former PL supporters have become disgruntled with the current government’s performance, the PN has failed to gain any ground. Instead, most of Labour’s lost votes have gone towards third parties or abstentions. This survey highlights the need for non-voters to be addressed, listened to, and targeted in a way that they feel part of a team that is aiming for positive change in the country.
The fact that the share of people who do not intend to vote has ballooned to 27%, almost triple the 10% who failed to vote in the last election, is a cause for concern. This would translate to 99,000 abstentions. Although this increase in non-voters appears to be dramatic, past trends have shown that this figure is very likely to shrink drastically as an election approaches.
The reality is that non-voters have the power to be the change in the country. Core party voters will not change the government in Malta, but non-voters when united can. It’s important to note that 27% is a huge number, and it cannot be ignored. Political parties and candidates should focus on reaching out to these individuals, listening to their concerns, and addressing them in a way that resonates with them.
It’s clear that many people are unhappy with the current state of affairs, and they feel that their voices are not being heard. Non-voters need to feel like they are part of a team that is aiming for positive change in the country. They need to feel like their vote matters and that they have a say in how the country is run.
Political parties and candidates must be proactive in their outreach efforts. They should hold events, meet and greets and find the best way how to engage with non-voters. Additionally, they should use social media platforms to connect with people who are not active in politics. By doing so, they can build a relationship with these individuals, listen to their concerns, and address them.
Continuing with this, it is crucial to understand the issues that are affecting people and why they may choose not to vote. For instance, there is a large liberal core vote that is dissatisfied with the current government’s performance. While being a liberal does not mean blindly accepting everything, it also makes it challenging to associate with the opposition party (PN), which may not appeal to liberal voters. However, liberal voters are some of the most open-minded individuals, each with unique reasons for identifying as liberal.
While there isn’t one thing that unites all liberal voters, they will unite behind someone who represents them and understands the greater good. The key to winning the support of liberal voters is for to position itself effectively, pick its battles, address the country’s most important issues, and offer solutions. This is something which lately PN are doing quite well and thus they’re finally leaving a dent in Labour’s numbers.
The party needs to adopt the right strategy to merge its conservative core with the liberal voters and aim together for the greater good. This approach has worked before in the late 80s and early 2000s when Partit Nazzjonalsita managed to unite the country to out seat the expired Labour government and later when it united the country for Malta to join the European Union.
PN has an interesting path way ahead. Invite some of the country’s most liberal-minded leaders and sit them around a table together with the brilliant conservative minds there is already and forge a plan that allows them to coexist. By doing so, the numbers will start shifting once again, and there will be a path ahead to achieving greater voter participation and ultimately mounting a proper challenge to the current PL government.